2012 MBA Fan Noise

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
It would be great to hear a report on the fan noise of the new Macbook Airs. I'm debating buying a used 2011 or a new 2012...the fan noise/issues would be part of my buying decision.

Thanks in advance...
 

marcovortex

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2009
75
0
Toronto, ON
Just noticed this as well and came here to find a thread or start one on this topic! :)
Very interested as well if anyone who was lucky enough to pick one of these new 2012 airs up if they can do a quick stress test and report on the noise level and heat.
Very interesting as I have a 2011 13" that I love. I do some gaming on it (its fine for what I play) but the noise is abit to loud for my liking and would love for that to be a bit lower.
 
Comment

BJonson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2010
833
113
Fans are inaudible until it passes 3000rpm. After that they ramp up to 6500. CPU gets to 100c before it comes down. Sound isn't that bad. Sounds kind of choppy instead of a hiss if that makes any sense but not annoying. That was ripping a movie in handbrake. Watching 1080p youtube movies for an hour the fan never got past 2300rpm and I never heard a thing. Can't say that for my other airs.
 
Comment

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,592
3,124
When it gets up to 6500 rpm the noise is still noticeable. Perhaps it's a tad quieter but I don't have the 2011 and 2012 side by side with the same fan speed. I agree that below 3000 or even 4000 it is very quiet (though the 2011 was also quiet at 2000).
 
Comment

me22

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2012
11
0
For those responding with reports on the new Airs, can you please include which CPU you have?

On the 2011 models, the i7 CPUs were more likely to trigger then high fan speeds.
 
Comment

palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
My 11" i5 is silent most of the time. You literally cannot hear it. However, I used Hulu yesterday while installing some applications and that got the fan going! It was noisy. I think that is just a fact of life when you try to move air around, though, and it was noticeably quieter than my MBP (not a difficult feat). Overall, I am quite pleased, and I think the computer performs as expected. It gets real hot and noisy when put under stress, because it is a machine, and that is what they do :)
 
Comment

palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
While I realize 100C is within operating spec, that's still a bit concerning for me. Anyone else seeing these temps?
I forget what I had, but it was toasty! That's the price you pay for the form factor, and I think users watching Hulu, listening to music, etc. are going to have to sweat a little. If it does overheat (has this ever actually happened to anyone on these forums?) it will shut down, and we all know Apple service is spectacular, so any problems will be solved in minutes rather than weeks or months.

If you are really worried about doing heavy processing, go to the quad core on the 15", and enjoy a cooler experience provided by two fans (only 1 on the Air). Or, for power users, there is always the Mac Pro.
 
Comment

Tu13es

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
161
0
I forget what I had, but it was toasty! That's the price you pay for the form factor, and I think users watching Hulu, listening to music, etc. are going to have to sweat a little. If it does overheat (has this ever actually happened to anyone on these forums?) it will shut down, and we all know Apple service is spectacular, so any problems will be solved in minutes rather than weeks or months.

If you are really worried about doing heavy processing, go to the quad core on the 15", and enjoy a cooler experience provided by two fans (only 1 on the Air). Or, for power users, there is always the Mac Pro.
I went to the Apple store a few days ago and played with a MBPR and 13" MBA. On both systems I ran Cinebench and other load stuffs multiple times. The MBPR got *much* hotter to the touch. Almost painful. The MBA was much cooler under load, but admittedly I didn't get temps for either, so the CPU could have been hotter, I suppose.
 
Comment

palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
I went to the Apple store a few days ago and played with a MBPR and 13" MBA. On both systems I ran Cinebench and other load stuffs multiple times. The MBPR got *much* hotter to the touch. Almost painful. The MBA was much cooler under load, but admittedly I didn't get temps for either, so the CPU could have been hotter, I suppose.
I am surprised to hear that. The 15" seemed to do a lot better when I tried it (a friend's from last year), but I haven't done any serious comparisons. My MBP 13" used to get pretty toasty as well (about the same as the 11"). I bet it has something to do with having only one fan, but I wouldn't be surprised if the smaller cases and dual cores don't play a role.

Anyhow, Apple stuff runs hot, and if that makes you nervous, you may want to look elsewhere :)
 
Comment

imjoee

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2012
284
0
I tested Fifa on my 13" MBA and the fans kicked in (noticeably). Skip to 2:36


YouTube: video
Samurai I watch u all the time on YouTube abou the MacBook air. I want it as my main computer but I don't know if I should get 128gb or 256gb. I'll use iPhoto iTunes iCloud mountain lion, iWork Internet all the time, some photoshop and final cut pro. Not much fcp or ps but some. I'm not worried to get a external hard drive but I rather not. Should I spend the extra 300$? An should I upgrade my ran for 100$?
 
Comment

Xian Zhu Xuande

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
895
70
Anyhow, Apple stuff runs hot, and if that makes you nervous, you may want to look elsewhere :)
I've repaired my share of Mac and PC laptops and I'm not sure I'd say running hot is a Mac laptop thing. It's subjective, but most of the Macs I've worked with run pretty cool compared to some PCs under a heavy load, but some of those PC laptops with slightly more spacious interiors and aggressive cooling systems can keep temperatures down quite well. And then of course there's the matter of the processor being used.

Edit: There have definitely been exceptions. I've owned or worked with some hot Apple laptops, as well as some cool and hot machines from other brands. HP has produced some of the damned hottest laptops I've ever touched when under a heavy load.
 
Comment

JasonR

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 11, 2008
958
1
I guess I should have asked...does it run cooler / quieter than the 2011 MBA (at least is there a discernible difference)?
 
Comment

palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
I guess I should have asked...does it run cooler / quieter than the 2011 MBA (at least is there a discernible difference)?
I wish I could say. I don't have my 2011 MBA anymore to compare. As for the point above about other computers running hot as well, the difference between the Mac and others is probably the metal casing. I seem to sweat a lot more with Macs. BUT, Mac fans are definitely the quietest.

I haven't met a Mac that has been cool while working on it, but it beats some computers for the way it dissipates heat. I had a Toshiba once that blew heat out through the keyboard. That made my hands uncomfortably hot and sweaty all the time and melted the screen twice. Lines in the shape of the keys on one row developed from the melted plastic of the screen. Whoever thought of that brilliant idea was a really bad engineer.

The good thing about heat with Apple is that you know they have tested it, it won't do anything stupid (like melt your screen), and if you do have a problem, they'll take care of you immediately.
 
Comment

Tu13es

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2009
161
0
Any new 2012 MBA owners who might be able to comment on heat/temps? From what I've seen the 2012 MBA is physically cooler than the MBPR (as I've observed). Haven't seen much in terms of CPU temps, though...
 
Comment

3bs

macrumors 603
May 20, 2011
5,428
21
Dublin, Ireland
For those responding with reports on the new Airs, can you please include which CPU you have?

On the 2011 models, the i7 CPUs were more likely to trigger then high fan speeds.
I'm very interested in this as well since I plan on getting a maxed out 11".

Should I go for i5 or i7?
 
Comment

calvol

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2011
991
2
I've repaired my share of Mac and PC laptops and I'm not sure I'd say running hot is a Mac laptop thing. It's subjective, but most of the Macs I've worked with run pretty cool compared to some PCs under a heavy load, but some of those PC laptops with slightly more spacious interiors and aggressive cooling systems can keep temperatures down quite well. And then of course there's the matter of the processor being used.
I have a Dell Latitude/i5/Sandy that runs Skype at 55C, whereas my 2010 13 Air runs Skype at 80C. It's a function of case ventilation and fans. I'm surprised Apple never designed the laptops with bottom vents; that would help airflow a lot.
 
Comment

Four oF NINE

macrumors 68000
Sep 28, 2011
1,836
769
Hell's Kitchen
Maybe Apple could look into some kind of micro refrigeration system; coils of liquid nitrogen or something wrapped tightly around the hottest assemblies.. I know it sounds far fetched and kind of way out there, but who knows?
 
Comment

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,361
3,576
i can't really compare it to a prior air, but i came from a macbook pro and this is much quitter and much cooler. I have the i7 and only have heard the fan once and that was when using hand brake
 
Comment

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,435
804
I have a Dell Latitude/i5/Sandy that runs Skype at 55C, whereas my 2010 13 Air runs Skype at 80C. It's a function of case ventilation and fans. I'm surprised Apple never designed the laptops with bottom vents; that would help airflow a lot.
The Skype client for OSX is horrible. I wouldn't be so quick to pin your heat issue on the cooling.
 
Comment

Dangerous Theory

macrumors 68000
Jul 28, 2011
1,982
28
UK
I have a Dell Latitude/i5/Sandy that runs Skype at 55C, whereas my 2010 13 Air runs Skype at 80C. It's a function of case ventilation and fans. I'm surprised Apple never designed the laptops with bottom vents; that would help airflow a lot.
Bottom vents...? Most useless for a laptop. Side vents, like the new high pixel density MBP make sense.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.